Austin Oil and Gas Attorney Emphasizes Importance of Quickly Investigating Royalty Disputes
Austin, TX (Law Firm Newswire) April 2, 2012 - "A recent Texas Supreme Court oil and gas case shows the importance of quickly looking into suspect royalty payments if an owner feels he or she is being underpaid. In Shell Oil v. Ralph Ross a royalty owner learned the hard way about not taking action on royalty payments within the statute of limitations. The Rosses were owed a one-sixteenth royalty along with the State of Texas as part of a pooling and unitization agreement with Shell. The Court found that even though Shell had underpaid Ross, Ross could not collect the underpaid funds because Ross did not exercise due diligence within the four-year statute of limitations period.
“This ruling shows how important it is for royalty owners to act on concerns about shortchanged royalty payments or missing ones,” said Austin oil and gas attorney Gregory D. Jordan. “If you think you’re seeing something questionable occurring in the accounting when you receive a royalty payment, do something about it. If you cannot get a satisfactory answer to your questions from the oil company, your best bet may be to contact a knowledgeable Texas oil and gas lawyer,” advised Jordan.
In Ross, the Texas Supreme Court noted that public information records showed the state was being adequately paid whereas the Rosses were not. The Court stated that the Rosses could have researched prices in the El Paso Permian Basin Index or the Texas General Land Office. The Court also suggested the Rosses could have asked companies who bought the gas from Shell what they paid or gone to Shell directly to inquire about prices.
The Texas Supreme Court found that Shell paid the Rosses an arbitrary price for the production from the lease wells and a weighted average for the unit wells. All of this did not matter, however, because the Court said the Rosses did not bring their claim within the legal time limit to do so.
“It is easy to become preoccupied with other matters and try to justify why you did not make or investigate a claim of unpaid royalties in a timely manner,” said Jordan. “But don’t shortchange yourself or get convinced by a company rep or land man to not pursue your instincts about not being fully paid. It is better to know than forfeit your rights.”
Law Offices of Gregory D. Jordan
5608 Parkcrest Drive, Suite 310
Austin, Texas 78731
Other Practice Areas offered by the Law Offices of Gregory D. Jordan:
- Texas property owners file class-action suit against Devon Energy over royalties
A class-action lawsuit has been filed by Texas property owners alleging that Devon Energy used sham transactions to underpay natural gas royalties. On January 6, class-action status was granted by U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade in Dallas, allowing the four individuals who brought the lawsuit to represent the interests of thousands of landowners. The judge [...]
- Investment firms sue oil company, alleging breach of contract
An oil company was sued by two investment firms in Harris County District Court in Texas over an alleged breach of contract. SSG Advisors, LLC and Chiron Financial LLC filed the lawsuit against Daybreak Oil and Gas Inc., claiming that Daybreak violated an agreement among the three companies. The investment firms claim they are owed [...]
- Multi-million dollar oil and gas lawsuit set for trial
A lawsuit is set for trial in Texas between two well-known oil and gas names over revenue and ownership interests, with hundreds of millions of dollars in damages claimed. Mesa Petroleum, founded by T. Boone Pickens, filed suit against J. Cleo Thompson and three exploration and production companies based in Midland. Mesa alleging that Patriot [...]
See other news sources publishing this article. BETA | Tags: Austin business attorney, Austin business lawyer, Austin business litigation attorney, Austin business litigation lawyer, austin employment attorney, austin employment lawyer